by Lisa Stewart: Increase Traffic By Blogging
Ahhh… site wide links. This is pet peeve of mine. . Sites that have all kinds of outbound links off the header, huge sidebars with categories and pages and mile long blogrolls. All these links are affecting page rank on specific pages- the page hit hardest is your main page- arguably the most important page on your site.
The minute you install word press you have a bunch of sitewide links on your blog. They are every where. Most themes will have at least one outbound link in the footer. All these outbound links are not only unnecessary but they are leaking page rank that could benefit your site. By using free plugins and doing some pruning to your site you can control page rank flow on your site- and even increase it.
Good Plugins To Control Page Rank Flow
Some plugins in can actually hep you control flow of links and page rank passing. There are tons out there- but these are the ones I like best.
One I like quite a bit is the nofollow from home plugin. What it does is add nofollow tags to external links on the main page.
Get Rid of Duplicate Outbound Links- Not Content
A plugin in that is highly underrated is Andy Beard’s Andy Beard’s NoFollow Those Dupes Plugin
. I think the reason is not as widely used as it should be is the lack of understanding of how it works.
Hidden Outbound Links
When you publish a post with a link in it- you have in effect created several pieces of content that have the same outbound link it- the same external link flowing OUT through multiple leaks. The post- and all the link sin it- will be in archive pages, category pages and popular posts, etc. What Andy’s plugin in does is not block the duplicate content- just the duplicate external link. Brilliant, eh?
it is customizable buts works great right out of the box. 99% of users will not need to make any changes.
If you do not have this installed- do so!
Clearing Out the Dark Recesses of Your Blog
You have site wide outbound links in all kids of places in your blog. Here are some places to check first.
Check your Footer
Go to Presentation/Themes/footer.php ( or similar)
You will see all kinds of garbage. Get rid of it. If you are using a free theme- leave the link to the theme creator- just add a nofollow tag. he will get credit and reader will be able to find out where you got your theme- you just wont; be giving him a link from every page on your site. You can always write a post about why you like his/her theme with a link to their site. This is much more valuable than a general link in the footer.
Take out any links you REALLY don’t want and add nofollows to the ones you want to leave.
Tackling Sidebar Clutter
There is a haven for links. If you STILL have those blogroll links that come with every WordPress install- delete them now. I am not a fan of blogrolls. Keep your blog roll to a minimum. say 5-10 tops .Make sure links in your sidebar are relevant. Remove the link to your Aunt’s Israel vacation pics. If you want to showcase links or sites that you love- crate a page or write a post. If you must you can always write something like ” Sites Worth Mentioning” in a page and list there. “Top Ten….. ” type pages an posts are great. Better to do that than pop in a blogroll.
Go to sidebar.php or look in your widgets for superfluous sidebar links. Meta sections are notorious space wasters. if you feel bad about getting rid of them and think they MUST serve some purpose- then add nofollow tags to them
Examine you widgets. I know- I am a widget JUNKIE so hard to believe I am offering up this advice. I am constantly trying new widgets and tools… but most times they create clutter and are not useful- as well as stealing your page rank.
Add NoFollow Tags to Ads
If you want to stay within Google guidelines- you have to have nofollow tags in all paid links and ads. If you have text links or buttons in your sidebar- or anywhere else- add nofollow tags to them.
Feedburner type links are also sometimes pre-installed in themes- add no follow tags to that link as well.
Many sites will have an Amazon product picture or link in the header or sidebar- add nofollow tags to those. I make it a habit to add nofollow to all my amazon links.
Control Link Flow – Add Nofollow Tags To Your Category and Pages.
I prefer to hard code my side bar. It is quite easy. Just open up your source code and copy into notepad. Find the section you want use, ie. “Pages” and paste into sidebar.php or use widget. You can also comb through the links and add nofollow tags that you don’t need or want page rank. I do this with pages like ” Advertising rate Information” “contact me” , etc.
Pair down Category Pages if you can. If you hard code your pages you can create a page that will not show up in sidebar- but you can add link to it elsewhere on the site.
Page: Most Popular Dog Breeds
( created but not hard coded in sidebar)
Golden Lab page
Some of these ideas will take you minutes to implement some longer. Understanding the why will give you insight into the how. Knowing that site wide outbound likes can hurt you will make you think about your links and link placement- when or when NOT to add a link or use nofollow tags.
I am not condoning adding nofollow tags to every outbound link- this is a BAD idea. Adding links prudently is good practice. I am very generous with links and think they are the lifeblood of blogs.
You can control the page rank flow on your site by limiting outbound links with plugins and cleaning up sloppy external AND internal links on your pages and posts . By doing so you will get a page rank boost for your site and its key pages- as well as give readers a cleaner and more professional looking blog.